11th grade student with autism raps for the first time in school music video


He has different abilities, and that’s his talent. Jon Dixon is autistic. It is with music that he expresses himself best.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Students at the North Florida School of Special Education are sounding like the top of the list with their new hit “Rockstar”.

They made the music video for their annual school fundraiser. It is replayed with the students and their families.

This Musical clip was a visual representation of the impact that specialized programs can have on students with different needs.

The well-kept rooms at the North Florida School of Special Education aren’t the perfect backdrop for a rap music video, but 11th grade student Jon Dixon will pull it off.

Like many great rappers of our generation, Dixon is humble.

“Most of the students here like me a lot,” Dixon said. “And they think I’m the best.”

The truth is, Dixon is authentically himself. He’s autistic. He said a few words during our interview, but I could tell he was proud of his work with the clip.

“He rose to fame with his hit ‘Rockstar”, said his music teacher Ciaran Sontag. “Through music his personality was revealed and he found this new confidence in himself.”

Sontag says the impact of the music is visible in Dixon, in the stark contrast between who sits in front of me during the interview and who sits in front of me when the music turns on.

“Whoa, I love rock and roll. I drive a sports car. By playing my guitar, I’m on a roll, “Dixon raps.

Music can transform people, and it shows in Sontag’s classroom. He teaches students of all levels.

The clip is not only performative.

“That was it,” said Dawn Dixon, Jon’s mother. “It was funny. It was beautiful. It was kind of a perfect representation of the joy that is happening on our campus.”

School is nothing if not inclusive, but it costs money to go here. Fundraising helps close the gap for tuition and other programs for students.

“Do you like your school?” Dawn asked her son.

“A lot!” Jon said in a way that surely meant, “obviously!”

The school’s fundraiser is called The Giving Tree and runs until November 6.

Find out more about the school and how to donate here.


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